Beetle Cat Fleet

beetlecatDo Beetles float? They do at Edgewood Yacht Club! For many decades, Edgewood Yacht Club has been home to a fleet of Beetle Cat sailboats. These wooden boats, about 12.5 feet long and 6 feet wide, have been manufactured in nearby Massachusetts since 1921. Once the choice of sailing school youth programs, Beetle Cats are sailed today by kids and adults alike. At Edgewood, the 2016 Beetle Cat Fleet includes six boats that race regularly on Wednesday evenings, starting between 6pm and 630pm. We are always looking for new additions to our Beetle Cat Fleet! Questions? Please contact George Shuster at gwsjr75@gmail.com.

Why would I want to own a Beetle Cat? Why not? The Beetle Cat is a terrific small boat, and a very manageable way to sail a wooden boat in the modern era. It is trailerable with ease, and you can step the mast with one or two people right on the trailer or at the dock. It is the rare wooden boat that is still being manufactured in quantity, and nearby—so if anything needs to be replaced, the parts are readily available just an hour’s drive from Edgewood in Wareham, Massachusetts, at the Beetle Boat Shop, see www.beetlecat.com. The Beetle Boat Shop will also store and care for your boat in the off-season, making wooden boat maintenance a non-issue, or of course you can tinker with your boat in the garage yourself, because it is not a huge vessel. Beetle Cats are relatively easy to find for purchase as used boats, whether through the brokerage at the Beetle Boat Shop or from individual buyers, and Beetle Boat Shop will build you a new boat on request. As far as wooden boats go, Beetles are relatively inexpensive. The Beetle Boat Shop is fabulous about answering questions and supporting Beetles generally, and you can contact them at info@beetlecat.com.

Is a Beetle Cat a good boat for Edgewood waters? Absolutely. The Providence River and Upper Narragansett Bay are heaven for small sailboats like the Beetle Cat. With its shallow draft and adjustable centerboard, you can sail right up on to Gaspee Point beach or Conimicut Point beach. Take a day’s sail down and around Prudence Island. Or stay local and just spin a few times around the “milk jug” at the edge of the shipping channel across from Edgewood—from arrival at Edgewood Yacht Club, you can be on your Beetle Cat and off sailing in 10 minutes, so a quick sail of under an hour is easy to fit into the schedule. For people who have a lot going on but still want to get out on the water in the Edgewood area, a Beetle Cat is a splendid choice—it feels like a lot more boat than it really is!

20150722_194001Why would I want to race with the Edgewood Beetle Cat Fleet? Why not? The fleet is a small but active group that races together on Wednesday nights from June through September. Some boats sail with solo skippers, some with one skipper and one crew. Our youngest skipper in recent races is 9 years old, and our oldest skipper is, well, a number of decades older. Often parents will sail with their kids, kids will sail with each other, or spouses will sail together. The races are held right off the Edgewood marina, with “dock starts,” so it is easy for spectators to come down and watch the colorful boats and sails competing against each other. What’s more, we are proud to have the current Chairman of the New England Beetle Cat Boat Association (http://beetlecat.org/index.php), Wells Pile (chairman@beetlecat.org), in our fleet, as well as the current Commodore and Rear Commodore of Edgewood Yacht Club and a past Commodore of Edgewood Yacht Club!

Is it expensive to keep a Beetle Cat at Edgewood? Not really. Keeping a Beetle Cat at Edgewood Yacht Club requires full membership at the club, which costs $750 annually (2016 rate) but includes all benefits of membership, including launch service to your Beetle Cat and use of the beautiful new clubhouse currently under construction. The mooring fee for a Beetle Cat is an additional $540 per year (2016 rates).

Apart from regular Wednesday night racing, what else does the Edgewood Beetle Cat Fleet do? Edgewood’s Beetle Cat Fleet hosts special races from time to time, like the Pomham Rocks “’Round the Lighthouse” Regatta, which will occur this year on Friday, July 29, 2016. Members of the fleet also travel together to the annual Leo J. Telesmanick Championship Race, the “World Championship” Beetle regatta. Last year, 5 Edgewood boats sailed in the weekend-long event at Weekapaug Yacht Club, and this year a similar number of Edgewood boats is expected at the event on August 13 and 14, 2016, at Hyannis Yacht Club.

How can I find out more? Drop by to see what our Wednesday night racing is like! Or contact George Shuster at 4013910030 or gwsjr75@gmail.com.